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Bob's first Halloween

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 by Emily Boyd

Bob scored a lot of noms for one small monkey-cow

Ever since we moved to San Francisco from Sydney, Bob's been looking forward to one particular holiday. Yes it's Halloween, the one day of the year when a small stuffed monkey can don a costume and blend in with the rest of the (mostly human) crowd.

Bob's costume choice was a tad unusual, and we did wonder if being the monkey mascot for an app with a cow logo had finally caused an identity crisis… Nevertheless, Bob seemed to enjoy himself immensely on his first Halloween, and returned from trick-or-treating with quite the collection of noms (he says he wishes he could share them with you all). Happy Halloween!

Posted in: Behind the Scenes

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Sending email… in the future!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

Sometimes you want to send out an email message, but you're not ready yet. This week's tip, shared by eric.kates, describes a quick way to get your message started so when you're ready to send it, you're already halfway there. Especially handy on the go!

Email

A sometimes useful feature of the widely used Outlook email client is the ability to write an email and schedule it to be sent at a future time. This can be semi-replicated using the iOS version of Remember The Milk and our little buddy, the "mailto://" link!

To set this up, just do the following:

  1. Create task and schedule for a future day to be reminded to send an email.
  2. Add a "mailto" link to either the URL field of a task, or to a Note that has been added to a task.

Your link will look something like this:

mailto://awesome_person@emailaddy.com?subject=Bob%20T%20Monkey%20Rocks!

Later when I'm notified about this task and I click the link, my default mail app launches with an email template that includes the person I want to send to and even a subject already filled out!

Using the "mailto" link and its available options it's possible to create an entire email all ready to send in the future, just by clicking a single link. Just remember to use the %20 for all your spaces and you're good to go.

Thanks for sharing this tip, eric.kates! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Keeping track of dragons (yes, dragons!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

It seems like so many video games these days are tough to keep up with: they either have large enough worlds that it's hard to remember everything, they require a lot of time (and in some cases specific times!), or all of the above. This week, janiceclee shares a tip to help sort everything out. The tip is specific to Dragonvale, but we think it applies just as well to other games.

Dragonvale icon

I used RTM to keep track of my Dragonvale dragon collection. The game has around 70+ dragons and each one has a breeding combination that may or may not work. The game requires a lot of persistence and patience.

I initially added a task for each dragon that I needed to breed and on the notes, I added the recommended combo to use for the dragon. Once I have successfully bred a dragon, I'd mark the task as complete.

There are dragons in Dragonvale that you can only breed for a specific period. I would mark these as high priority and add a due date. At any point, I can look at RTM and know which dragons I'm still missing.

I would also use RTM to set a reminder to make sure I check my colosseum every 24 hours and put a new dragon in. This makes sure that I'm never late from collecting my gems.

One can argue that the game is pointless… but collecting is fun. And RTM makes it easy.

Thanks for sharing this tip, janiceclee! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks

Featured app: YaR Desktop

Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Brendan Ganley

YaR desktop list screenshot

Have you ever wondered how much time you're really spending on each of your tasks? Sometimes tracking your time usage can bring some surprising and useful (and possibly disturbing!) facts to light. Konstantin Vorobyev's YaR Desktop app can help you collect this time-tracking information and put it to good use. Built on the Adobe AIR platform, it's a desktop application that runs on Windows and Mac, and uses our API to add and modify tasks in your Remember The Milk account.

When you're ready to start tracking your time for a task, simply double click on the task to open it and then un-pause the timer. If you move on to another task (or if you take a well-deserved lunch break), you can pause the timer and restart it when you return. When you finish the task, you'll have a record of the total amount of time you spent on it and YaR Desktop can optionally record this in the task's notes and/or in the time estimate field, depending on your settings. Normally, time will be tracked for only one task at a time. However, if you're the multi-tasking sort, you can mark a task as a "background task" which will keep the clock running even as you start the timer on another task.

And while it's important to keep focused on the task at hand, it's also important to maintain balance by giving yourself a break once in a while. YaR Desktop can help with that too. It can be configured for a particular "work/rest" cycle: a certain period of focused work followed by a rest period. You'll be reminded to take a break at regular intervals so that you don't get too caught up in your work.

YaR desktop task screenshot

In addition to the time-tracking functionality, tasks can be added quickly within the app using shortcuts that are similar to (but not exactly the same as) the Smart Add shortcuts, allowing you to define many of a task's properties at the time you create it. Existing tasks can be modified using either a drop-down menu or keyboard shortcuts. If you're looking for specific tasks, you can search within the app to locate them. Searches are performed by Remember The Milk server-side, which means all of your favorite advanced search operators are available for use.

It was quite an eye-opener for us to find out how much time Bob actually spends meticulously peeling bananas (we've set up a meeting to discuss) but once you have the cold, hard facts about how you're spending your time, there are limitless ways you can use the information to try to improve your work habits. YaR Desktop does a great job of helping with that first crucial step: gathering the data.

Searching for other apps to help you work with Remember The Milk? Take a look at our Apps page and see if something catches your interest!

Posted in: Featured Apps

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Reducing your overall number of tasks

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

You could argue that to-do lists are revolving by nature: as soon as you clear it, another day arrives and there's more to do. Some days may feel like 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.

This week's tip, shared by byronsp, brings a different perspective into the mix by looking at how many tasks you've added versus how many you've completed.

After a while I felt the number of tasks was going up and I wanted to reduce the structural deficit of the tasks (e.g non-repeating tasks).

So what I did is created a Smart List to track the tasks I've added today VS the tasks I've managed to cross off today.

(added:today or completed:today) and isRepeating:false

This allows me to say that I've added 4 tasks today BUT reduced the structural deficit by completing 8 tasks. Hence I'm down 4 tasks. Then I create a repeating task (I use tags:++Objective and Priority HIGH) to reduce each day the deficit by 5 tasks.

Just my current approach for getting motivated to crank out those small project tasks I've got lying around.

Thanks for sharing this tip, byronsp! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks

Birthday #7

Friday, October 12, 2012 by Emily Boyd

Bob T. Monkey celebrates birthday #7

We're seven years old today! It feels like just yesterday we were launching our little app on the Internets, wondering if anyone would actually like and use what we'd created (and we still feel like that everytime we launch something new for Remember The Milk!).

We've been totally overwhelmed by your support since day one. Amazingly, 497 people who signed up in our first month of existence are still using Remember The Milk to this day… now that's to-do list commitment!

We'd like to say a ginormous thank you to everyone who's helped make Remember The Milk what it is over the past seven years. A special mention goes to those who've upgraded to Pro, as it's thanks to you that Remember The Milk exists today (no really… without your support, we would've run out of bananas to feed Bob long ago!).

Most importantly, thank you for using Remember The Milk! We hope we can do our little part to help you be awesomely organized and productive. :)

Posted in: Behind the Scenes

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Tracking vehicle maintenance

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

Maintaining your vehicle can be a lot of work; you need to get the oil changed periodically, sure, but the tires need to be rotated, the wheels aligned, the fluids checked, and then the oil changed again. :) This week's tip, shared by azclaire, suggests keeping track of this schedule with some tasks.

List of vehicle maintenance tasks

Every time I take my car in for its regular oil change, I'm asked if I want to do recommended maintenance (for example, 60,000 mile checkup). In addition, after the oil change, I'm advised to have certain services done (for example, wheel alignment) based on what they've seen while doing the oil change and inspection. (These additional maintenance items I normally have performed at an auto repair shop I trust rather than a business primarily focused on oil changes.)

I can't remember if these things have been done or not! I tend to take my car for oil changes to the business that's offering the best deal, so it's up to me to track what's been done to my car and when. (If they recommend something that's just been done, it's a sign that perhaps I should choose a different business next time around!)

I created a list called Vehicles and a tag for each vehicle. I create a task for each maintenance procedure with a scheduled due date (like the oil change) or the date it was recommended via the standard inspection (which would also be the oil change date). I complete each task on the day it's done. I add the odometer reading in a note as many service procedures are done based on that. I can also add notes about discussions and who I spoke with, invoice numbers, etc if I feel I need historical documentation.

Read the full post for a few more details, including how azclaire used this method to save a lot of money on transmission repairs!

Thanks for sharing this tip, azclaire! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks

Featured app: RTM-CLI

Friday, October 5, 2012 by Brendan Ganley

We love seeing all the cool things that developers do with the Remember The Milk API, so we're starting a new featured apps series to share some of the awesome apps we've discovered that work with Remember The Milk. If you've built something cool with the API, let us know!

RTM-CLI screenshot

For some people, the command line is a scary place reserved only for the most dire emergencies. For others, it's the quickest and easiest way to do just about everything. If you fall into the second category, take a look at David Waring's RTM-CLI script. If you're a serious command line enthusiast looking to manage your Remember The Milk tasks, this script is a must-have.

RTM-CLI is a Python script that's well-documented, full-featured, and easy to use, being completely contained in a single file. RTM-CLI requires Python 2.5 or later, as well as pyrtm for communicating with the Remember The Milk API. The RTM-CLI page includes instructions for downloading and installing these components, as well as the script itself.

There are a lot of commands available, but to start with, you can use the rtm ls command to list your tasks. Optionally, this command can be followed by a filter which can include any of the advanced search operators. The output will be formatted and color-coded to indicate priority and due date. It will also assign a unique index number to each listed task which can be used by other commands (such as complete or postpone) when referring to the task.

One really unique and interesting feature of RTM-CLI is its ability to print a very cool text-based weekly planner showing all the tasks for the week. You specify the start date of the week and an optional filter (just like rtm ls) to show only the tasks you want. The command for this is rtm planner and you can see an example of the output on the RTM-CLI page.

The script offers many more commands and, as you probably expect from a command line application, you can use rtm --help to get a full listing of them.

Check out our Apps page for more tools to help you interact with your tasks!

Posted in: Featured Apps

Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Planning date nights

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

It can be difficult to make time for a date night periodically, let alone figuring out what to do once you do plan it! This week's tip, shared by thisjones, can help the planning part by keeping a list of ideas, which may help motivate you to make time too!

Bob T. Monkey plans a date night with a special friend

Whenever I hear my hubby mention a new place he would like to visit or a new activity he would like to do, I make sure to note it in my "date night" list. That way when we have a free night to ourselves I can plan a special date that he will enjoy without having a wrack my brain for something new to do!

Thanks for sharing this tip, thisjones! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks